Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, Hebrews 2:14
We must have the kind of Savior who can save us from the power of this world’s god (2 Corinthians 4:4) and this world’s prince (John16:11), the devil. We must have a Savior who can save us from the power of sin and death. Christ must be the true, eternal God, through whom all believer’s receive God’s approval and are saved. If Christ wasn’t greater or better than Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, or John the Baptist, then he wouldn’t have been able to reclaim us. Because he is God’s Son, he was able to reclaim us and free us from our sins when he shed his blood. If we believe this, we can rub it in the devil’s face whenever he tries to torment or terrify us with our sins. This will quickly defeat the devil. He will be forced to retreat and leave us alone.
Here’s an illumination that can help us understand how Christ defeated the devil by dying. The fishing hook, which is Christ’s divinity, was concealed by the earthworm, which is Christ’s humanity. The devil swallowed both when Christ died and was buried. But Christ’s divinity ripped open the devil’s stomach so that it couldn’t hold Christ anymore. The devil had to throw him up. The devil ate something that proved to be fatal. This truth gives us wonderful comfort. Just as the devil couldn’t hold on to Christ in death, so the devil can’t hold on to us who believe in Christ.
The Ninety-Five Theses is a text that everyone knows, most refer to, but few actually read, writes Stephen Nichols. Nevertheless, it is such a crucial text that it deserves to be read widely. Toward that end, Nichols has prepared this edition with an illuminating introduction, explanatory notes, and several illustrations. Martin Luther has left a legacy that continues to enrich the church through his writings. . ., writes Nichols. All of this may be traced back to the last day in October 1517 and the nailing of the Ninety-Five Theses to the church door.